One of the foundations of building a successful business is having a clear understanding of your target market and how and where to reach them. There are many components of a target market including demographics and psychographics and how they relate to your product offering. The more specific you can get in identifying your ideal customer characteristics, the more effective your marketing will be, resulting in higher conversion and a better return on your investment.
How to Identify Your Target Market
The first steps in identifying your target market is determining who wants your content and who will pay a premium for it. A good place to start is by looking at your current customer base. Who is buying from you today and why? Who are your highest value customers, and what characteristics do they share?
Another good approach is to take a close look at your competition. If there is a lot of competition targeting a specific market, perhaps that segment of the market is saturated. Focus on what you’re doing differently and better compared to your competition to set yourself apart. Are there any untapped markets you could be targeting instead?
Additionally, when identifying your target market it is useful to make a list of your product’s features and benefits, and a list of the types of people who would value what you have to offer. Does your product solve a problem for one particular customer type? Who will see the most value in your product?
Creating a Marketing Persona
Once you’ve identified your target market, you can hone in even more on your ideal customer by creating a marketing persona. Doing so will make it crystal clear in your mind the audience you need to target with your product development, messaging and marketing.
When creating a customer persona for your product you’re developing an identity for a fictitious person that represents your target demographic. Creating one person helps you see your audience as human beings and makes it easier to address their needs. Think through demographics and psychographics for this exercise.
How old is your persona? Are they male or female? What is their household income? Do they have children, and if so, how many and what are their ages? Where do they live? What do they like to do in their free time? What do they do for work? What are their needs and what keeps them up at night? You can even give your persona a name, height, hair color, and cut a picture out of a magazine that represents the face of your persona to really solidify their identity in your mind.
Once you’ve identified your target market and created a marketing persona for your customer, your marketing efforts will be much more effective as you’ll have a clearer picture for how and where to reach them.
Reaching Your Target Market
The more specific your targeting is to your ideal market, the better your return on investment. Trying to target everyone is the quickest way to burn through your marketing budget without snagging a sale.
Focus marketing dollars and brand messaging on your target market, and rely heavily on your marketing persona to guide you. Where is your customer looking for information to guide their product purchases? What are the best channels to reach your audience? Social media, search marketing, email marketing, in app advertisements or another place entirely? Demographic information may be important to consider here, as different age groups tend to find information that lead to purchasing decisions in different ways.
Continue to analyze your customer base, review and revise your ideal target market based on how your marketing is performing and who is buying from you, and update your marketing persona accordingly. Most importantly, continue to test, measure, refine, and test some more.